The Scarlet Spy

Merlin's Maidens - Book 3

By Andrea Pickens

Grand Central Publishing - October 2008

Historical Romance

Sofia's two best friends had left Mrs. Merlin's Academy for Select Young Ladies for their own assignments, and had found love. Now it was her turn for her initial assignment. She would need to infiltrate the ton by pretending to be a widowed Italian contessa. Once she had been accepted by the London elite, she would need to discover who the members of a secret organization were. With only rumors and vague suspicions, Sofia would need to use all the considerable skills she acquired in becoming a Merlin to unravel the mystery.

Lord Deverill Osborne had been asked by an acquaintance, who happened to work for the government, to escort an Italian countess in London and help see her established. Osborne found it to be a rather odd request from Lord Lynsley. Not only were there considerable rumors surrounding Lynsley's past, but one of Osborne's closest friends had recently gotten mixed up in something involving Lynsley.

The more involved Osborne got, the more questions and suspicions he had. Lynsley had answers for all of Osborne questions, explaining that he would be unable to attend many functions. He had chosen Osborne for his reputation as a man whose opinion was highly regarded by many, and his amiable character. Then there was Sofia. She didn't seem to want to spend time with him, and would disregard his suggestion to be cautious around certain people. Osborne knew he should simply leave Sofia to her own devices, but he couldn't stop his attention nor his attraction. He also knew that there had to be more to her than he had been told, and he was determined to discover what it was.

The Scarlet Spy was filled with intrigue and romance. I had read the previous story in this series, and was thrilled to finally read Sofia's story. I loved watching her character mature into a full-fledged Merlin. I simply adored poor Osborne. Lynsley and Sofia were determined to keep him in the dark, yet he was unwilling to let Sofia go. He was aware of a similar situation involving his good friend. Plus, he was afraid to have Sofia put herself in danger. He was a true hero. I certainly hope that Ms Pickens decides to continue this series.

Kathy Andrico -